The Weeknd - Rolling Stone
“How does it fe-e-el, to be on your own? With no direction home? A complete unknown?” I can’t say I know the answer firsthand, but I do have a pretty good idea of how it sounds; with respect to Bob Dylan, The Weeknd is about as accurate an aural depiction of alienation and loss as listeners could ask for. Here, the T-dot crooner channels the narcotically hazy vibes of his Booth debut, The Morning, into acoustic-ballad format. Over Doc McKinney and IllAngelo‘s spare, reverb-drenched fingerpicking (with occasional percussion and ambient synth accents), the singer exhibits some characteristically haunted, haunting vocals, clinging to the memory of a girl he knows is going to leave like others before her. Unsurprisingly for those familiar with his work, the artist is gonna need some chemical assistance to deal with the pain. As he puts it, “I’ma keep on smoking till I can’t hit another note.” Regardless, Weeknd finishes this mournful cut in strong form – or have I got it twisted? Those who agree with my assessment can expect plenty more quality material on The Weeknd’s Thursday LP, scheduled for a late-summer release.